A cannon firing an oil bottle is an unusual way of christening a new rifle design, but it was certainly a memorable way to launch the Genesis One .308 straight-pull rifle on 5 August.
Owen Guns in Gympie, Queensland held the official launch of what is believed to be the first Queensland-designed and made rifle in 25 years.
The main store was full of people for much of the day, and pro-gun Gympie MP Tony Perrett was also present for the “christening” of the rifle via cannon.
Designer Ron Owen was keen to thank the team at Enfield Arms for their efforts over the past two-and-a-half years to bring the rifle to fruition, and said the rifle was the start of a new era.
“I have a vision and make a rough design for the crew … [then] everybody has input into getting those proof designs into a production rifle,” he said.
“The [name] Genesis is because this is the beginning of general [firearms] production in Gympie. You see, there’ll be Genesis Two, Genesis Three I suppose; we’ll be making mounts, muzzle breaks and bipods. It’s the start of an industry.
“I’m really proud of the team.”
While the aesthetics may not be to everyone’s taste, there is no doubting the rifle’s ruggedness – as part of the launch, a Genesis One fitted with a ZeroTech Vengeance 1-6x illuminated scope was thrown down stairs, run over with a 4WD and buried in mud.
The rifle was then test fired with five rounds of .308 and functioned flawlessly, despite the beating it had taken — and the scope was still functioning as well, including its illumination and turrets, and was confirmed to still be holding its zero.
A competition was held whereby entrants were invited to guess the exact weight of an unloaded, heavy-barrel .308 Genesis One, with the nearest guess (to the gram) winning one of the guns. The answer, it was revealed in the official weighing, was 4.165kg.
The rifle is available in .308, .243 Winchester and .223 Remington, and Ron has confirmed versions in .277 Sig Fury and .22LR are currently in development.
Our own Nick Harvey reviewed the Genesis One in the August 2023 edition of Sporting Shooter and had many positive things to say about the rifle.
The Genesis One is available now from dealers for $1595 for the heavy barrel version or $1695 for the lightweight barrel version, which weighs 1kg less than the standard rifle.